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Part II: Canada's Draft National Action Plan on Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants

6. Use of Best Available Techniques and Best Environmental Practices

Overarching best environmental practices (BEP), such as pollution prevention, and the precautionary principle are embodied in Canadian legislation (e.g., CEPA 1999) and policies (e.g., Toxic Substances Management Policy).

Pollution prevention is defined in the CEPA 1999 as: "The use of processes, practices, materials, products or energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and waste, and reduce overall risk to human health or the environment. A similar definition has been adopted by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, as follows: "The use of processes, practices, materials and energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and wastes at source."

Best available techniques (BAT) are, in general, taken into consideration during the development of instruments to address pollutant releases, such as regulations, Environmental Codes of Practice, Canada-wide Standards or other, in addition to other factors such as socio-economics, environmental co-benefits and impacts.

Strategies in Canada, and as described in the previous section, take into account BAT and BEP. For example, the emission limits as set out in the Incineration Canada-wide Standards for Dioxins and Furans are based on BAT environmental performance. Pollution prevention was noted as the preferred approach for reducing and minimizing emissions from incineration facilities. To support pollution prevention as the preferred approach, recommendations on pollution prevention options for waste incineration were developed as tools or advice for jurisdictions to use in part or in whole.

Environmental assessment processes for projects that could have significant impact on the environment, such as new industrial facilities or significant modifications to existing facilities, will also provide opportunity for the consideration of the application or requirement of BAT and BEP. The environmental assessment process may require project proponents to find ways to minimize negative impacts resulting from the undertaking and to review alternatives. The outcome of an environmental assessment process is often a decision to issue or deny approval of the project. When approval is issued, conditions are often applied to reduce environmental impact of the undertaking.

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